Note to Zuckerberg: Conservatives don’t want a dog-and-pony-show, we want the targeting to stop

Mark_Zuckerberg_-_South_by_Southwest_2008_-_5On Monday, CNN Money reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to meet with a group of prominent conservatives, including Glenn Beck, S.E. Cupp and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute over allegations that the social media giant, known as the “world’s most dangerous censor,” is blacklisting conservative sites and news from its Trending Topics section.

In short, it’s starting to look like just another dog-and-pony show intended to mollify conservatives.  If history is any teacher, nothing will really change and conservatives will continue to be targeted.

Let’s understand — there’s much more going on with Facebook than just the Trending Topics issue, as I’ve reported time and again.

Just this morning, I heard from a friend who was given a 30-day ban for something he posted about Islam.  I don’t know what, exactly, he posted, but I rather doubt it was anything that really warranted banishment.

Over the years, I’ve presented you with a number of stories about the treatment Facebook has meted to its conservative users.  In one instance, the company told a conservative woman her profile picture of a lilac tree was considered pornographic, and how.  In another, Facebook said that a 2012 Donald Trump campaign button violated their rules on nudity.

In May 2014, we reported that Facebook falsely flagged articles mentioning Islam as “unsafe.”  From May 2015 through the end of the year, yours truly was repeatedly banned for posts that were made to look as though I had made them.  Several others were banned for the exact same posts, which were also made to appear as though those users posted them.

Recently, Facebook shut down the extremely popular 2 Million Bikers to DC page over an innocuous opinion.  Many other pages have been shut down for questionable reasons.

On and on it goes.  You can see many of those stories here and here.

So you can understand why I’m skeptical that anything good or substantial will come from this meeting.

I’m glad to see Zuckerberg make this step, but frankly, I’d be even more impressed if he actually did something to stop the nonsense.

We don’t need any dog-and-pony shows, Mr. Zuckerberg.  What we need is for the harassment and bullying of conservatives to stop.

As a final note, Adina Kutnicki, an investigative journalist based in Israel, and I are putting the finishing touches on a book about the social media giant and what it enables.  That book, which has already been endorsed by Pam Geller and Prof. Paul Eidelberg, is set to be published sometime this fall.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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